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Jews and India: Professor Nathan Katz

Monday, April 15 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Jewish Museum of Florida
301 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33199 United States

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU invites you to its upcoming lecture Jews and India: Professor Nathan Katz.

Jews have lived in India for two thousand years and have exerted a surprising influence over this vast and friendly host, while quite naturally receiving influences from India. During this talk, we will view how Jewish communities have interacted with their predominantly Hindu host, how individual Jews have impacted Indian religious practice, commercial ethics, and even Mughal emperors! And more recently, interreligious dialogues have inspired the Dalai Lama and led leading rabbis to conclude that Hinduism is not idolatrous and that, in fact, Jews and Hindus worship the same One god.


Nathan Katz, Distinguished Professor, Emeritus, at Florida International University, has been a seminal figure in the field of Indo-Judaic Studies. With his wife, Ellen Goldberg, he authored pivotal books and scholarly articles about the Jews of India; he is founding editor of the Journal of Indo-Judaic Studies, and has been deeply engaged in Jewish – Hindu/Buddhist/Jain interreligious dialogues. He was selected as a delegate to the historic 1990 Tibetan-Jewish dialogue hosted by H. H. the Dalai Lama, and in turn hosted HH’s three visits to Miami.

In the academic world, Katz has written fifteen books and more than a hundred academic articles. He won numerous awards, including Fulbright grants and was a Finalist for the 2000 Jewish National Book Award. He was the Founding Chair of FIU’s Department of Religious Studies, the Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, the Kaufmann Professor of Global Entrepreneurship in the College of Business Administration, an affiliated faculty in the College of Medicine, Director of Jewish Studies, and founder and director emeritus of the innovative Program in the Study of Spirituality. He also served on the faculties of Naropa University, Williams College, and the University of South Florida, and is Academic Dean of Chaim Yakov Shlomo College of Jewish Studies, a yeshiva in Surfside, Florida.

Katz’s books include a memoir, Spiritual Journey Home: Eastern Mysticism to the Western Wall (2009), Who Are the Jews of India? (2000), which was a Finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, The Last Jews of Cochin: Jewish Identity in Hindu India (with Ellen S. Goldberg, 1993), Ethnic Conflict in Buddhist Societies: Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burma (with Ellen S. Goldberg, 1988), and Buddhist Images of Human Perfection (1982).

He has studied, taught, researched and lived in South Asia for more than eight years and together with his wife led study tours throughout India and Sri Lanka.

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